A Sonnet for St. Valentine

Why should this martyr be the saint of Love?

Why should this martyr be the saint of Love?

Here is a sonnet I composed in honour of the original St. Valentine. I notice some FB posts implying that as an early Christian martyr he has nothing to do with Romantic Love and should be dissociated from it. I believe that on the contrary there is every reason why he should be the patron saint of Love and this sonnet explores why.

As always you can hear the poem by clicking on either the title or the ‘play’ button. This poem is published in my most recent collection ‘Parable and Paradox’

St Valentine

Why should this martyr be the saint of love?

A quiet man of unexpected courage,

A celibate who celebrated marriage,

An ageing priest with nothing left to prove,

He loved the young and made their plight his cause.

He called for fruitfulness, not waste in wars,

He found a sure foundation, stood his ground,

And gave his life to guard the love he’d found.


Why should this martyr be our Valentine?

Perhaps because he kept his covenant,

Perhaps because, with prayer still resonant,

He pledged the Bridegroom’s love in holy wine,

Perhaps because the echo of his name

Can kindle love again to living flame.


Filed under imagination

10 responses to “A Sonnet for St. Valentine

  1. Ian Silk

    Well said, Malcolm!

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Eleanor Prugh

    That is really nice (in the best sense of the word). I am a new subscriber having become a fan a few months ago. Now I need to learn how you pronounce GUITE so I can speak of you to my comrades without murdering your name.

  3. Awesome! I just uploaded a new article on my website titled “Happy Valentine Day Message – https://authorjoannereed.net/happy-valentines-day-message/ – I share in this article the history of where did Valentine Day come from and how the traditions of Valentine Day started (reference to the martyr Valentinus) . Feel free to check it out!

  4. Reblogged this on Discusión Inteligente and commented:
    Excelente soneto inspirado en la vida del San Valentín histórico.

  5. Kay Robinson

    I found this when I was looking for something for our church newsletter
    It is beautiful and deserves to be shared.
    Thank you for writing this and giving me a greater insight into St. Valentine.

  6. Sister Rita Yeasted, SFCC

    I loved this poem. Thank you. Yesterday I went to the 8 a.m. Mass at our local church, and the homilist began with saying that Feb. 14 was the feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, not St. Valentine (who was taken off the Catholic calendar of saints after the Vatican II purge of unauthenticated saints). I felt as I did when my mom told me there was no Santa Claus, and I had argued with her at 9: “Of course, there’s a Santa Claus. It doesn’t matter if he is a real guy, but someone gives the gifts, and we call that someone Santa.”

    Whether a St. Valentine existed or not, as the hagiography is sketchy, anyone who inspires a day in which we tell people we love them and send flowers and chocolate to prove it is needed no matter if he really existed. For me, there will always be a Santa and a St. Valentine, and your poem will immortalize him even more.

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